Archive for May, 2008|Monthly archive page

License Plate Redux

In atheism, church/state separation on May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Oh no, more religious license plates.

This time it’s South Carolina, but the plate is going to look just like Florida’s old one.

Actually though, I don’t have a problem with this cross plate… as long as you allow any group who can get 400 orders to get a plate. Which means atheists in South Carolina ( I wonder if there are 400 of them ) should band together and order a plate with the scarlett A on it.

What bother me worse is Arkansas’s plate, which I’ve written about before.

It contains a picture of the Arkansas state capitol building with the slogan “In God We Trust” at the bottom. To me, this is more a violation of the first amendments establishment clause than one saying “I Believe”. After all the “I Believe” obviously refers to the person driving the car, not the state. While “In God We Trust” implies the collective state government of the people.

Follow the link below to read the whole story about South Carolina’s new license plates.

Cross could adorn state license plates


Creationism in the Classroom. This is what I was afraid of.

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2008 at 2:11 pm

I’ve been thinking for a while now that evolution isn’t being taught in an appropriate manner in school classrooms. I based this on the fact that when I was in high school back in the late eighties, we got almost no coverage of the topic in biology class. Well, now we have evidence in the form of a survey funded by the NSF. Here’s some choice quotes.

The research, funded by the National Science Foundation, also revealed that between 12 percent and 16 percent of the nation’s biology teachers are creationists, and about one in six of them have a “young Earth” orientation, which means they believe that human beings were created by God in their present form within the past 10,000 years.

The majority of teachers spend no more than five hours on human evolution.

Only 23 percent of teachers strongly agreed that evolution is the unifying theme for their biology or life sciences courses, though the majority of teachers see evolution as essential to high school biology.

This seems to mirror my experience in my High School. Now, I wonder what is the solution to this problem? Should we be firing teachers who teach creationism or intelligent design in class? Even if we did that, that doesn’t help promote the teaching of evolution, they could simply skip both evolution and creationism. I wonder if there’s room for a public watchdog group? Could this group make surprise visits to biology classrooms to make sure evolution is being taught? Would that even be allowed?

I don’t have the answer, but I would like to do something about this problem. I think the proper teaching of evolution would go a long way to removing fundamentalism from religion in the United States. It’s also becoming very important for the financial well-being of the United States, as bio-tech becomes more and more important.

Follow the link for the full story from LiveScience.com

Creationism Creeps into U.S. Classrooms